Alewife Neighbors, Inc. > projects > wrgrace > GeoInsight Review of EPA Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation Report

Report commissioned by Alewife Neighbors and conducted by GeoInsight, Inc. to review the Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation Report done by the EPA to determine if the conditions at the Grace Site and Russell Field posed a health threat to the neighborhood in its current state.

March 13, 2001 GeoInsight Project 2532-001

Mary Ellen Stanton
United States Environmental Protection Agency
One Congress Street, Suite 1100
Boston, Massachusetts 02114-2023

RE: Review of EPA Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation Report
W.R. Grace Site
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Dear Ms. Stanton:

On behalf of Alewife Neighbors, Inc. (ANI), GeoInsight, Inc. (GeoInsight) reviewed the February 2001 Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation Report (Report) prepared by Roy F. Weston, Inc. (Weston) for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The objective of the preliminary assessment was to evaluate suspected asbestos impacts in surface soil. The following activities were conducted as part of the preliminary assessment:

Based upon GeoInsight's review of the Report, we provide the following comments:


Asbestos was consistently detected in shallow soil samples collected from the W.R. Grace property by TEM methodology and asbestos was detected by TEM in soil samples in which asbestos was not detected by PLM. Because of the false negatives in the PLM analysis, the presence or absence of asbestos in Russell Field soil samples cannot be evaluated since the soil samples collected from Russell Field were analyzed only by PLM. Due to the low unit risk for residential and sensitive populations, any amount of asbestos fibers at Russell Field or in surficial soil near the residences may present an unacceptable risk. The Report did not include an evaluation of the implications or risk from asbestos consistently detected in surficial soil samples.

If you have any questions on the information summarized in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact either of us at (978) 692-1114.

Very truly yours,

Kevin D, Trainer, C.P.G.
Senior Geologist
Michael J. Webster, P.G., L.S.P.
Senior Associate
cc: Gretchen Von Grossmann, ANI
John Bolduc, City of Cambridge
William Beck, Haley & Aldrich
Jack Miano, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Ira Leighton, Acting Regional Administrator, USEPA